Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

February 25, 2015

Click on photo to access additional photos

April 8, 2013

Marc with 48 pound flathead catfish.


This Op was caught on a trotline in Palo Gaucho with jugs at a depth on 6 or 8 feet.
The depth of the water was unknown since I don’t have a depth finder.  I baited with live
perch on 6/0 forged steel hooks – my lines are heavy duty for these fish.  My neighbor
was with me when I caught Opzilla.  He lets me tie up to his boat dock each spring,
and in return I give him the small blues that I catch.  He doesn’t like the big ones, and I
don’t care to clean very many fish.
When I saw the water swirl and felt a big tug as the line went down, I knew that a had
a big one.  I was rebaiting at the time, and my neighbor wanted me to go get the fish right
away.  I patiently continued to bait hooks knowing that Ops are always hooked in the
lip and the chances of landing one are better if you play them down.  I landed Opzilla with
a gaff given to me several years ago by our late dear friend, Pete Vercher.  This fish about
equaled my best catch.
Flathead Catfish is a US native species that today is found in most parts of the US after being introduced to a lot of different waters across the nation due to it’s value as a game and food fish. They can be found in slow moving water in large rivers and streams but can also be found in lakes. They prefer deep water with fallen logs and other hiding places. They prefer live live bait versus cut bait.
Flatheads are close to impossible to breed in aquariums due to their solitary nature but they can be breed in large ponds. In the wild Flathead catfish spawns during the late spring when the water temperature is raising. The male guards the egg and fry in a nest that usually is placed in a cave or near another sunken object that can help provide cover for the nest. The female can lay 100 000 eggs in one spawning. The fry form large schools in and around the nest the first few days but after that they disburse and the males parental duty is then over.

April 5, 2013

Another Toledo Bend Blue Cat


Robert shows off 33# blue cat fish

taken on a flagging jug.

He hit a live perch in about 20′ of water.

April 2, 2013

One of my buddies can catch those Toledo Bend big bass


This big momma could not resist Johnny’s

Gold Rogue with orange belly in shallow water.

Water temperature is hovering around 70*

which is sending the big bass to spawning grounds.

After a quick photo,

this gal was returned to her nesting area.

March 15, 2013

Even Tadpole gets lucky.


This big momma had not make it to the

shallow spawning water as she was

caught in 20′ deep.

After this photo she was released to

hopefully release the eggs

in her belly.

March 3, 2013



Author on left,
fellow employee on right”….



The ringing of the emergency telephone awoke me from a deep sleep.  It was very early in a spring morning in 1956 as I jumped out of my bunk bed and put on my white coveralls.  Someone was in need of an ambulance in the city of Waco, Texas at 2:35 in the morning.

I was in my junior year at Baylor University and had taken a job with the only emergency ambulance service in Waco.  It was an exciting job for a 20-year-old young man, but the atmosphere was not conducive to studying my courses.  The salary of $110 per month seemed very good at the time as it helped with my living expenses.  The job was somewhat confining as I had to be at the ambulance station at 2317 Washington Avenue whenever I was not in classes. My social life took a severe hit with this schedule.

The service was owned by A. D. Sherrill of Waco, who, along with his son, Buzzy, ran an efficient organization.  Mr. Sherrill insisted that the telephone be answered no later that the second ring, even during the middle of the night.  Mr. Sherrill owned two 1953 Chevrolet panel trucks which had been converted into ambulances, which we referred to as “hot shots”.  He also owned two 1955 Pontiac long ambulances which we used as transfer vehicles on non-emergency calls.   All the vehicles were equipped with Motorola two-way radios, which was a distinct advantage over the Connally Funeral Home who owned and operated one emergency ambulance not so equipped.

The ambulance driver looked over at me and said, “Let’s go.  We have an overdose victim at a motel.”  I jumped into the passenger side of the white ambulance as the driver started the engine and turned on the red lights.  Washington Avenue was still alive with vehicles even at this early hour.  The sound of the siren and the reflection of the red lights around me always was an adrenalin rush.

We arrived at the motel and carried the cot to a room where we were met by an older man wearing a bathrobe.  I noted a younger woman lying still on the bed, dressed in a night-gown.  The man was holding a bottle in his hand.  As we directed our attention to the young blonde on the bed, the driver asked, “What did she OD on?”  The man pointed to the bottle which we noted to be rubbing alcohol.  “She drank about a half-inch of this stuff, and then she just passed out.”  We tried to awaken her but without success.  “Let’s get her loaded and to the hospital as fast as we can”, the driver said.

This event happened in the days before patients were stabilized before transport as done by EMT’s and paramedics now.  In fact, we knew very little about administering first aid. The “load and leave” method was used, or some referred to it as “scoop and run” method was all that we were trained to do.

After loading her into the ambulance I got in the back with her and sat on the small fold-down chair.  I tried to find a pulse.  I checked her wrist, her carotid artery, and finally her chest.  There was no pulse or breathing that I could detect.  “This girl is dead”, I yelled to the driver.  “Step it up!”  Just in case I was wrong, I put an oxygen mask over her nose and turned it on.  The driver radioed the station to call Hillcrest hospital to advise them that we were on our way with a possible DOA (dead on arrival) patient.

The doctors at the hospital pronounced her dead and they began drawing blood from her arm.  A doctor made the comment, “that small amount of alcohol won’t kill anyone.”  At this point, our job done, we put clean sheets on the cot and went back to the station.

The following afternoon a couple of detectives from the Waco police department arrived wanting more information on the man who had been with her.  Unfortunately, we were in such a rush to get the patient to the hospital neither of us had stopped to get his name, address, and telephone number.  Mr. Sherrill commented to them, “Well, our guys are not police officers.  We don’t investigate, we transport.”


” Shows
A.D.Sherrill and son picking up a young man who had been struck by a
car” …….

By June 1, 1956, I had returned to San Augustine for the summer and started working at Wyman Roberts Funeral home. I never heard anything else about the “older man and young lady” case in Waco.  For the record, Mr. Sherrill sold his A-1 Ambulance service to the Daniel EMS of Hillsboro in 1982.  He died in 1985, and his son, Buzzy Sherrill died in 2007.  All that is left of the A-1 Ambulance Service of Waco are memories, some good, and some not so good.






PO BOX 511




Cell: 936-275-6986

Email: sugarbear@netdot.com

February 15, 2013

Johnny can catch those Toledo Bend crappie


He found these nice crappie in deep water grass.



Cold fronts with north wind move the crappie our just a little deeper.

January 1, 2013

hogs, hogs, hogs on our deer lease eating our deer corn



December 25, 2012

From a Tadpole to a Santa


Tadpole had the privilege of being Santa

for Hemphill Care Center’s Christmas Party.

Santa got lots of hugs from visitors and residents.





















and several hugs from staff







December 6, 2012

they made a mistake


these guys and gals normally do not appear until after dark.

this day, they made a mistake and appeared while I was in hunting blind.



I tried to pick a smaller one that would be good eating.



I suggest to my grandsons

they place their shots in the animals ear.

No meat is wasted and if you miss

the animal does not run off wounded.

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